A distinctive feature of recent revolutions was the key role of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube). We study the role of social media in mobilization. In a simple model we assume that while social media allow to observe all previous decisions, mass media only give aggregate information about the state of a revolt. We show that when individuals' willingness to revolt is publicly known, then both sorts of media foster a successful revolution. However, when willingness to revolt is private information, only social media ensure that a revolt succeeds, with mass media multiple outcomes are possible. This suggests that social media enhance the likelihood that a revolution triumphs more than traditional mass media.
social media mass media revolution coordination game sequential games